Belfast Telegraph

Children remember 'caring' father

David Black's children have insisted their father's presence will always be with them, despite his death at the hands of dissident republicans.

Kyle and Kyra Black said one of the things they would miss most about him was his big smile.

"They can take daddy away from me and from Kyra and from mummy, his family," said 21-year-old Kyle. "But there's a lot of special memories we will always have and keep in our heart and they can never take that from us."

But the prison officer's son said it was very important that his killers were caught. "It's very important to us that justice is carried out," he said. "They don't deserve to be walking the streets free men, they deserve to be behind bars for what they've done. And it's very important that justice is served."

Recalling the day his father died four weeks ago, Kyle said he first thought something may have happened to him when he saw a news story flash up on Facebook about a prison officer being shot on the motorway. He said when police later confirmed the news, his world fell around him.

His 17-year-old sister Kyra had been at the family home in Cookstown on Halloween break from school at the time. She had been asleep when the doorbell rang and by the time she got downstairs she saw a police car pulling out of the drive. Her uncle and aunt later called to the house to tell her.

"He always had a smile on his face, always," she said of her father. "He's just so caring and loving, he was so special."

At the funeral, Kyra read a poem she had written describing her father as her "special hero". The schoolgirl said she got the courage to deliver the reading from him. "I took a deep breath and I just knew he was standing beside me," she said.

Kyra said the number of prisoners who had passed on their sympathies to the family had been "amazing". "Dad always said that if a prisoner respected him he'd respect them - it was a two-way system," she said. "And it is true, the amount of cards and letters that have come from them it's just overwhelming. He was just such a gentleman - all of them have said it, not just one but all."

Asked what he would miss most about his father, Kyle said: "His big smile and big laugh and how kind and how caring he was, he was just so special to us, and how much a massive part of our lives he was and always will be. He'll always be here with us, so he will."


From Belfast Telegraph